Mapua continued its rise in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors Basketball Tournament after taking down Jose Rizal University, 72-67, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
This is the Cardinals’ fourth straight win to gain a half-game lead over the idle CSB Blazers for fifth place with a 7-6 slate.
“Natutuwa and masaya kasi one day preparation lang, di namin alam kung paano ipapahinga ang mga players pero still nag-respond naman sila,” said Mapua head coach Randy Alcantara as they faced Arellano just last Tuesday.
Without their floor general Noah Lugo, who had flu, the Cardinals relied on its defense, holding JRU to just eight points in the third canto to gain a 48-39 cushion entering the final frame.
The Heavy Bombers though gained second win in the final frame as Agem Miranda and Marwin Dionisio powered a 15-2 JRU run to strike within five with 1:25 remaining.
Mapua skipper Laurenz Victoria and JP Nieles were able to stop the Cardinals’ bleeding with big free throws by the former and a dagger by the latter to seal the win.
Victoria had 13 points for Mapua.
“Buti na lang bago sila nakahabol malaki na ang lamang namin,” sighed Alcantara.
Stepping up for Lugo was Nieles, who had 11 points. Justin Serrano and Christian Bunag had 12 and 11 points respectively.
JRU, who fell to 4-9, was led by Dionisio’s 15 points.
Mapua will have a long break before facing San Beda on Friday, October 4 at 2:00 pm. JRU, on the other hand, takes on San Sebastian on Thursday at 2:00 pm.
MU (72) — Victoria 13, Serrano 12, Nieles 11, Bunag 11, Gonzales 10, Bonifacio 8, Aguirre 2, Salenga 2, Nocum 2, Garcia 0, Jabel 0, Gamboa 0.
JRU (67) — Dionisio 15, Miranda 13, Amores 12, Dela Rosa 8, Aguilar 8, Delos Santos 5, Arenal 2, Aboag 2, Jungco 2, Vasquez 0, Macatangay 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15, 30-31, 48-39, 72-67